Matild Palace Hotel Celebrates 2nd Anniversary
The Spago by Wolfgang Puck restaurant.
One of Budapest’s iconic buildings, which has established itself as an award-winning luxury destination and one of the capital’s most elegant social hubs, was due to celebrate the second anniversary of its reopening as this issue of the Budapest Business Journal went to print on June 28.
Matild Palace welcomed its first guests two years ago after an extensive renovation. The historic building, initially constructed 120 years ago under the patronage of Her Imperial and Royal Highness Maria Klotild of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (later Archduchess of Austria), was designed to serve as a social center for the capital.
In the summer of 2021, Matild Palace opened its doors as part of The Luxury Collection portfolio, one of the Marriott International brands. The hotel also unveiled the first European outpost of Spago, now a Michelin-recommended restaurant, the signature restaurant of the world-renowned Austrian master chef Wolfgang Puck.
The Duchess rooftop bar (named for the former owner) offers a captivating entertainment venue with breathtaking views. The Matild Café & Cabaret, formerly known as Belvárosi Kávéház, brings a fresh and glamorous experience to local and international guests, establishing itself as a prominent venue for cultural life.
“Matild Palace is more than just a hotel; it is a social center that warmly welcomes Hungarian guests as well. We always strive to serve the local community, and it’s gratifying to see that the majority of our guests are Hungarian,” comments general manager Selim Ölmez.
Since its inauguration, the luxury hotel, situated in a neo-Baroque building that is part of a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, has received numerous accolades. It was honored with the Best Luxury Hotel and Best Luxury Guest Room titles at the Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design in 2021.
Selim Ölmez, general manager of the hotel.
In 2022, the hotel received the Architectural Excellence Award from the Foundation for Constructors’ Masterworks and secured top honors in three categories at the Klasszis TopDesign 2022 Awards, Hungary’s exclusive international hospitality and hotel design competition.
As a result, Matild Palace was recognized as the Klasszis TopDesign Capital Hotel of the Year 2022, with its guest rooms earning the distinction of the Klasszis TopDesign Guest Room of the Year. The Matild Café & Cabaret, known for its revue shows, was named Klasszis TopDesign Café of the Year.
In February of this year, Matild Palace garnered six additional titles at the International Property Awards in London, representing a globally recognized standard of excellence. These spanned various categories, including the hotel’s conference rooms, suites, and bathrooms, as well as the renowned Spago by Wolfgang Puck Budapest and The Duchess rooftop bar.
The most recent honor received by Matild Palace was at the Audi-Dining Guide TOP 100 Restaurant Awards 2023, which recognized five-star luxury hotels this year, with Matild Palace emerging as the winner.
“A building or property may possess beauty and a rich history, but it is the people who ultimately drive its success. When you put your heart into it and prioritize the satisfaction of your guests, success becomes almost inevitable,” says Ölmez.
“You don’t need to operate the world’s most exquisite or lavishly appointed hotel to achieve this. We consider ourselves extremely fortunate here in Budapest, as we have been blessed with the former Matild Palace, standing majestically in the heart of the city, along with our exceptional team and valuable connections,” he notes.
“While implementing our plans hasn’t always been easy, the rewards are evident when we witness the contentment and loyalty of our returning guests,” the general manager adds.
Since May, Matild Palace has joined Imagine Budapest’s themed and alternative sightseeing tours, offering visitors a unique opportunity to delve into the former palace’s rich history and explore its diverse culinary delights.
Accompanied by gastronomic journalist Györgyi Kalas and Imagine tour guide Elza Morcsányi, guests are led on an enthralling journey through the captivating ambiance of the former Belvárosi Kávéház, steeped in literary figures, the legendary cabaret shows of Lido, the exquisite flavors of fashionable cakes, the lingering aroma of coffee beans discovered in the cellar after World War II, and the sophistication associated with the world-renowned chef legend, Wolfgang Puck.
Guests can tour some of the hotel’s most noteworthy areas and indulge in dessert specialties at the meticulously restored Matild Café & Cabaret. This includes savoring the signature Matild Cake, as well as an exciting new addition by executive pastry chef Tristan Tuaud.
The hotel’s management team says it eagerly anticipates the challenges that lie ahead in the coming year.
“We thrive on variety and constantly seek out new and exciting opportunities. We are exploring innovative concepts, including collaborations with Wolfgang Puck. During the summer, we will strive to complete all the projects we have yet to finalize, with our primary focus centered on delivering personalized service,” says Ölmez.
This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of June 30, 2023.
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